Mogadishu’s only free ambulance service has been told by police to not respond to bomb attacks in the embattled capital, according to group’s founder.
Dr. Abdukadir Abdirahman, the founder of Aamin Ambulance said he received a directive from the police commission that ordered his service to no longer respond to bomb sites.
In an interview with the BBC, he said that he pressed the police for the order in writing, but the police failed to respond with the letter.
The police told Abdirahman that it was a security issue.
“They said it’s for security reasons you cannot go, I told them we’ve been working (Mogadishu) for the past 12 years.”
Security forces have been ordered to conduct serious crackdowns on Al-Shabaab militants after a violent uptick in attacks by Al-Shabaab.
The police say that Al-Shabaab militants might use an ambulance as a cover to commit terror attacks.
Aamin Ambulance, Mogadishu’s only free ambulance service, is often credited with being Somalia’s most effective first response team.
However, Brig. Gen. Zakia Hussein, the Deputy Police Commissioner Somali Police Force has said that Aamin Ambulance is allowed to continue their work.
In a statement released on her personal Twitter account, Hussein said that the police reached out to Aamin Ambulance and will continue to work with them in responding to emergencies.
“The Somali Police Force declares that there was no ban on the Aamin Ambulance service. This agency has held a meeting to discuss how to work with Aamin and will continue to work in the with them in emergency response. We would like to thank the Aamin Ambulance and any emergency personnel who are responsible for shouldering this responsibility and for their efforts.”
Aamin, which means “faithful” in Somali, has a fleet of 16 ambulances, employs 36 medics, drivers and support staff and responds to victims of armed violence, car accidents or complicated birth.
Abdirahman says that a lot of people will die if his service is not provided to victims of attacks.